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Helping Others Walk Away From Homosexuality

Helping Others Walk Away From Homosexuality

By McKrae guys huggingGame

A few months ago, I shared that I wanted to start educating our readers better on understanding homosexuality and same-sex attractions. A big part of my ministry is encouragement to those who, like myself, continue to struggle despite their devotion to Christ and their seemingly best intentions to do right. This is the purpose for my book, The Transparent Life, where I vulnerably share that, despite struggles and failures, I fight on.

This January 27, my wife and I will celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary. On February 24, I’ll be celebrating my twenty-fifth year in the Lord and twenty-fifth year out of the homosexual life I led for over three years. Yet, despite these incredible milestones, my wife is the only woman I desire and I’m okay with that—and she’s thankful for that. Next month, I will be writing about what all I’ve gone through to get to where I am today.

Throughout my Christian life, I’ve noticed that many do not seem to want to hear about ongoing struggles. I feel that many leaders and pastors are very nonchalant in how they refer to the Christian life as seeming to be easy. As if, all you have to do is follow Jesus and your problems go away. He lifts your burdens, right? All things are old, the new has come, right? And those of us who have a past in homosexuality need to just give it to God, walk away, get delivered, go to counseling, read some books, go to a conference, or all the above. And then it’ll all be in the past. It’s no big deal—just do it and you’ll see, right? This is the message that I, and many others I’ve heard from, are irritated by.

It seems like it’s not proper church etiquette to admit struggles. The reality is, our burdens don’t disappear when we follow Jesus, but they are now shared with Him. However, the old thought patterns and struggles don’t just go away. It’s not as easy as getting “delivered” and never having another problem again. There is the reality of struggle with the mind, the body, the enemy, and the world we live in every day.

I often feel alone, like The Lone Ranger. Am I the only leader sharing about having ongoing struggles with the flesh—specifically with same-sex attractions? I rarely hear others talk about their own struggles, the struggles that we ALL experience.

I get frustrated when men and women give up on their faith, or compromise their beliefs, because their struggles haven’t changed to their satisfaction. I hurt for them. I want to help them, but many have given up. What you and I can do differently is why I’m writing this article. 

Why do we continue to struggle? Why is it so hard for people to walk away from homosexuality? It’s my personal belief that it’s so hard to walk away, because this issue is taboo to talk about (for a related article, see Homosexuality: The Leprosy of Christianity). It’s taboo to admit struggles, period, much less homosexuality. People want to be normal and to fit in. Many in the church don’t make it easy, though. I and others are doing our part to be real. How about you? Are you ready to step out and allow yourself to be vulnerable so that others may be free?

Many in this type of ministry will tell of their journey, but they leave out the hardship. And worse, I rarely hear them tell the whole story of where they are today. They say, “I’ve changed,” but typically are not specific.

I think every day about the men and women who are on this journey, who are listening to us, reading what we write, and desiring what we have. What do we have? Do they think we have a struggle-free life? Do we act or talk like we have a struggle-free life? Have we become just like every other shallow man or woman who is vague about their temptations and falls? Far too often, our vagueness leads to very wrong assumptions. I don’t want to do that to people. Maybe I did that in the early part of my ministry, and if I did, I apologize.

Because I’m not vague, there are people who accuse me of being gay, all because I’m honest of where I’m at in my journey. They say, “See, it doesn’t work, listen to him…” That’s fine. I’d rather be honest than tell half-truths, leading to false assumptions. To tell half of the story is to tell a half-truth, and in my book, to tell a half-truth is to tell a lie.

The truth is—this journey isn’t easy. Regardless of your struggle, following Christ as Lord and dying to self is NOT easy. Coming out of a past of homosexuality is wrought with identity struggles, past hurts of abuse and neglect, insecurities, debilitating fears, and compulsive habits as coping mechanisms for the pain.

The reality, though, is many people have these same issues, just not related to same-gender attraction. 

We don’t make it easy for people who are attempting to walk away by keeping our struggles to ourselves. When we don’t admit to others what we came out of and what we currently deal with, we contribute to the ongoing fear of sexual issues, especially the phobia of homosexuality. Notice I didn’t use “homophobia.” I’m not saying we need to be “okay” with homosexuality. I am saying we need to be a safe person for men and women who experience same-sex attraction to be able to admit their struggles, as well as their failures. How are any of us EVER going to win this fight if we are supposed to keep it all inside?

I know many men and women who feel ashamed for simply being tempted towards homosexuality. I firmly believe that JESUS IS NOT ASHAMED OF OUR TEMPATIONS. We shouldn’t be ashamed, either! He’s not ashamed of what He has brought us out of and what He is walking us through. As in Isaiah 61:3, where He says He makes “beauty from ashes…for the display of His splendor.” What makes your struggle with pride, anger, judgmentalism, adulterous thoughts and possible actions, sexual compulsions, gluttony, blasphemy, greed, and on and on, any better? It ISN’T! But, if we would share our past, our burdens, our struggles, and help the person who experiences same-sex sexual attractions know they are not alone, they will be able to bear their burdens more easily. It will make this life doable, and we’ll hear fewer people say, “It didn’t work.” We’ll have fewer suicides, fewer people returning to homosexuality, and more people finding victory over their compulsions.

Does this sound crazy? Good. In a recent interview, Bono of U2, was asked about his belief of Jesus. He said, “Jesus was either the Son of God or He was like Charles Manson-crazy. He couldn’t have just been a good teacher and say all those things.” The gospel message is crazy to the world and to our flesh. If we’re going to live successfully, we will need to daily die to self, share each other’s burdens, and confess our sins to one another. That is the Christian life!

You may think it’s crazy, or I’m crazy, but if you love people, then you’ll stop hiding.  And if you want people to find victory, then you’ll stop treating this issue as worse than your issues. Please do not stigmatize people for having a struggle that’s different than your own! If you do, then you are rejecting someone who needs your help. Whether you’re a pastor sharing a message from the pulpit, or a regular person in the community, please share your story. We all have an opportunity to be real and share our story—our whole story. Will you join me?

A few scriptures on sharing our stories are: 1 Corinthians 10:13, Rev. 12:11, James 5:16, along with Matthew 5:14-16:

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” 

“I Have Always Felt Different”

“I Have Always Felt Different” 

Understanding the Root Issues of Same-Sex Attractions

Manger2This month’s article is a follow-up on last month’s titled “Why Did You Choose This?” Contact us if you have a suggestion for a future article on helping you and others better understand this often confusing issue.

People have sought me out for answers to the “why” questions of homosexuality for over twenty years; sixteen in formal ministry. The information I’ve gathered comes from an eclectic knowledge base, including, but not limited to: the Bible, scientific research, conferences, workshops, my own personal journey, and most of all—helping other people of all ages and mentoring leaders.

As I’ve said many times, transparency is key to freedom, so I continue to share my life in order to help others become free. As I listen to people’s stories, I hear the same phrase, “I have always felt different.” Combined with that is their feeling of being all alone—of not knowing anyone else who really understands them. Many in today’s culture believe that those who experience same-sex attractions have only one option—to live homosexually.Hope for Wholeness does NOT attempt to alter people’s attractions. Rather, we are here to help people align their lives—relationally and sexually—with God’s Word. This is the beginning of true freedom.

What does aligning one’s self with Scripture look like? For many of us, it began by simply admitting to someone that we had attractions and feelings we didn’t understand. With this admission, we released the burden of our secret. And we either experienced gaining a trusted friend, or endured an even deeper hurt and rejection through our confidence being betrayed.

A big portion of our journey is discovering what it truly means to be a man or a woman. This journey is filled with both terrifying and exhilarating opportunities that challenge and mature us.

An excellent example of what it means to be a man is Joseph. He demonstrated what it took to be a man: he was a faithful follower of God, he deeply loved his wife, and worked hard as a carpenter to provide for his family. This took daily effort on Joseph’s part to demonstrate who and what a man is. This is not a concept children are born with. Rather, boys and girls develop their understanding of their gender as they watch and interact with Mom and Dad, especially their same-sex parent. They, in turn, learn from interacting with their same-sex peers, as well.

Many leaders do not wish to site the “developmental model” because not everyone fits the “mold.” I agree that we are all unique. However, I cannot ignore the overwhelming number of men and women who actually do fit the development model. A model that attempts to answer the question, “Why does a person experience homosexual attractions?”

Here is an excerpt from Dr. James Dobson’s November 22, 2006 interview with Larry King Live (CNN). Dr. Dobson, an acclaimed child psychologist and founder of Focus on the Family, often speaks on genetics and development.

KING: Do you still believe that being gay is a choice rather than a given?

DOBSON: I never did believe that. Neither do I believe it’s genetic.

KING: Then what is it?

DOBSON: I don’t blame homosexuals for being angry when people say they’ve made a choice to be gay because they don’t.

It usually comes out of very, very early childhood, and this is very controversial, but this is what I believe and many other people believe, that is has to do with an identity crisis that occurs too early to remember it, where a boy is born with an attachment to his mother and she is everything to him for about 18 months, and between 18 months and five years, he needs to detach from her and to reattach to his father.

It’s a very important developmental task and if his dad is gone or abusive or disinterested or maybe there’s just not a good fit there. What’s he going to do? He remains bonded to his mother.

KING: Is that clinically true or is that theory? 

DOBSON: No, it’s clinically true, but it’s controversial. What homosexual activists, especially, would like everybody to believe is that it is genetic, that they don’t have any choice. If it were genetic, talking about twin studies, identical twins would all have it. Identical twins, if you have homosexuality in one twin, it would be there in the other.

KING: Right.

DOBSON: So, it can’t be simply genetic. I do believe that there are temperaments that individuals are born with that make them more vulnerable and maybe more likely to move in that direction, but it usually is related to a sexual identity crisis.

There have been a number of resources I’ve drawn upon over the years to help solidify my thoughts regarding the “why?” of same-sex (sexual) attraction. I’ve heard many people defending their side of the argument, while real men and women—stuck in the middle—remain hurting and confused. Let’s stop debating and start coming alongside those in need.

Before a young man or woman decides to identify as gay, each one did the same thing we all do: they sought for meaning in their lives. They wanted to be “normal” and craved to “belong,” yet, they repeatedly ended up on-the-outside-looking-in. They see men and women together, boys talking about girls, and girls talking about boys. They want to be just like everyone else, but instead feel very “different.” This is a terribly confusing mind-set to experience—especially when one feels like they cannot openly share their feelings of being different.

Too often when people have opened up about their homosexual feelings to someone in their life, they have been ostracized or demonized. Today, young people are being swayed over to the “dark side” of liberal thinking that basically says, “Children confused in their gender should align with homosexuality as soon as possible.” Both of these reactions are incorrect, unloving, and unbiblical.

Then, what is correct, loving, and biblical? This is part of answering the “why” questions. Let me share a bit of what I’ve learned on this subject, in what’s called the developmental model.

Starting at birth, it’s a mother’s job to nurture and protect her children. However, a boy must move past this protection. He CAN’T grow and mature into a man and remain a boy. In order for a boy to start launching into manhood, he must push away from his mother. When Seth was about two, I remember my wife crying to me, “He doesn’t love me anymore! He thinks you hung the moon!” I replied, “Sweetie, he’s supposed to separate from you. Didn’t you know? I did hang the moon.”

Over the years, I’ve seen a pattern called the “kitchen-window-boy.” Mom’s little boy is scared and yet, for whatever reasons, he’s not running to Dad to embrace what Dad has to offer. Instead, the little boy remains afraid and attached to Mom. He’s also often Mom’s closest relationship, instead of her husband.

I vividly remember this occurring when I was a boy. I remember looking at my dad and not knowing what to think of him. I was really not a part of his life. I always wondered why he didn’t play with me in the creeks, or with my Legos, or whatever I was into. He was into his things and I was into mine. We lived two very separate lives. I was so envious of my sister, who always seemed to have Mom and Dad’s attention. I put my sister’s dresses on, wondering what it was like to be her. Consequently, I’d be around strong boys and fearful of them, yet very much envious.

Putting on my sister’s clothes seemed to be an unusual response to being scared and feeling isolated. I later discovered that my thoughts and feelings were actually very common among men that ended up developing same-sex attractions. We didn’t understand or connect with our dads, which led to our not identifying as “one of the boys.” Instead, we feared and typically very much envied them. These interactions in young children enforced the lie that they were “different.”

One reason many homosexuals believe they are born gay is because of interactions that occurred prior to five years old, which is earlier than most people are able to consciously remember. So, when a person says, “All I ever remember is feeling different,” then their assumption is they were born this way. This is NOT about parents causing homosexual attractions. It is how a person interprets their environment, of how they felt they measured up to everyone else, and where they fit in with their same-sex peers.

Contrary to many people’s speculations, not all people who have been sexually molested develop same-sex attractions or become gay-identified. (This topic is so important topic, it needs more attention.)

A key issue in the development of male same-sex attraction, is a lack of separating from Mom and attaching to Dad. With women, it’s somewhat more complicated. Girls are not supposed to leave mom, but rather, bond with Mom, as well as be blessed in her femininity by Dad.

Alan Medinger states in his book, Growth into Manhood, that boys who develop same-sex (sexual) attractions did not go through the phase that is commonly known as adolescence. This is the period when boys prove themselves to themselves and others, developing a sense of self. In turn, this helps them to believe they are equal to their peers.  The kitchen-window-boy is too fearful to launch out and engage in rough play, or even if he does, he still remains feeling isolated from his father and other males. A boy who “feels different” can begin to see males as more “other” than “same.” In puberty this “otherness” can become sexualized. If not appropriately dealt with, these feelings will continue into adulthood.

When a child doesn’t know that other children have insecurities, they feel “different.” When they feel different, they often isolate themselves—and often others shun them because of their supposed differentness. This isolation breeds more internalizing of their feelings, causing them to fixate on their perceived inadequacies. Many people have experienced these same patterns, without developing homosexual attractions. Instead, they might deal with hyper-masculinity, or hyper-femininity within women, where they feel they have to prove their sexuality through flirting, sexual conquests, and/or pornography. Some turn to gambling, drinking, drugs, and other forms of escape. Others seem to develop normally, but their issues are just not as obvious.

As followers of Christ, we are to continuously admit our struggles, temptations, and failures, AND surrender them to God. Ever-straight men and women are not encumbered with trying to understand their gender—this already developed naturally in their life. For those of us where this did not happen, we must do two things simultaneously: not surrender to what may feel natural—same-sex sexual attractions—while also learning to intimately trust our same-sex in healthy relationships so we can “become.”

In order for any of us to become the man or woman God created us to be, we must deny our flesh, take up our cross, and follow Him. In this way our needs WILL be satisfied, and when we are satisfied, we mature. Maturing is much more satisfying than fixating and worshiping another.

The truth is that no one chooses to have homosexual thoughts, feelings, or attractions, but each are faced with what to do with them. The important thing is—you or your son or daughter are not alone. We are here for you and your family. You have someone to talk with who understands. 

To join one of our groups, please complete our online form at www.hopeforwholeness.org > Connect > Facebook Groups. You’ll find a loving and encouraging group of men, women, and family members—of all ages and from around the world—ready and desiring to encourage and pray for and with you.

Contact McKrae

Last fall, Alan Chambers (former Exodus President), contacted me to see if I’d be interested in taking over the memorabilia and archives of Exodus. I quickly said, “Yes.” He told me, “It’s a lot.”

Exodus: Preserving History and Continuing the Adventure

Exodus: Preserving History and Continuing the Adventure

By McKrae Game

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I remember going to my first Exodus conference in 1998. My wife and I were scared to death! It was a regional in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Clay McLean was the main speaker. I met many new people, but the only one who really sticks out in my memory is Larry Bell. The Lord put Larry in my life in an incredibly vulnerable time—I’d recently had a fall with a man, and my wife didn’t know, yet. It was also at this conference where the Lord spoke to me about ex-gay ministry. Clay said, “So many people come out of homosexuality through an experience with God, but tell no one. Many are then left to walk alone on this journey.” In that moment, I heard clear-as-a-bell in my mind, “This is what I’ve called you to.” It scared me, yet…the Lord reminded me: He’d been preparing me for a long time.

My experience with Exodus was truly special. I had found family. I discovered a group of men and women who understood where I was coming from and how I felt—my attractions, my inclinations, my failures, my hopes, and now my calling. The worship was incredible! God’s Spirit was thick in the air! The experience was so POWERFUL and intense, it was life-changing!

IMG_8394 (1)When I heard about the Exodus national conference, there wasn’t even a question of whether my wife and I would attend. When we found out it was in Seattle, Washington, where we would have to face the high cost of traveling to the other side of the country, it wasn’t a matter of seeing obstacles, but looking for solutions. I asked my church and my mom for help, and seventeen years later they both, still, financially support this journey.

From that day forward, and for the next fifteen years, I never missed an Exodus conference.

Shortly after the conference in Seattle, I mailed my application to start an Exodus Affiliate Ministry. I’d heard clearly from the Lord that I was supposed to follow Him in this area. “Truth Ministry,” I heard. In order to start an Exodus ministry, though, their Standards had to be met: one year in ministry and two years from a fall with another person. I had work to do! After meeting the Standards and becoming an Exodus leader, I immersed myself in every area I could. Over the years, I coordinated the volunteers and taught workshops at the national conferences. It was from these workshops that my message of The Transparent Life took root.

The Lord gave me the gift of leadership, and I used it.

Alan Medinger was my Exodus Regional Representative, and he did a great job mentoring me as a leader. Eventually, he asked me to take his place as the Exodus Regional Rep for the Mid-Atlantic Coast. One day, after accepting the position, I called Alan [Medinger] because I was feeling SO overwhelmed. I asked him, “How did you manage your ministry and find the time to mentor all the leaders across the region?” He replied, “Well, what you don’t know is…you were the only one I was calling and mentoring. I saw numerous gifts in you that I believe can carry on the work of Exodus.” I was struck at that moment by his words, and I still am today. This man I admired so much personally mentored me into a position I would one day take on, though I didn’t know it at the time.

Today, Hope for Wholeness not only carries on the ministry and message of Exodus, but also the spirit of community with its leaders and participants. This culminates in a powerful personal experience at our conferences where Jesus is The Focus and lives ARE changed. (See last month’s article on change.)

Speaking of change, Hope for Wholeness is now the caretaker of Exodus’ history.

Last fall, Alan Chambers (former Exodus President), contacted me to see if I’d be interested in taking over the memorabilia and archives of Exodus. I quickly said, “Yes.” He told me, “It’s a lot.”

I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I immediately informed our Advisory Council and Governing Board, and we’ve kept this confidential until now. We believe it’s important to preserve this life-changing history. No funds were exchanged, no agreements of ideology were entered, and no “quid pro quo” occurred. The only expectations regarding the Exodus Archives were for them to be cared for, respected, and preserved intact. Our plan is to share the Archives in ways that will glorify the Lord.

How to transfer the Archives from Florida to South Carolina was now the question to be answered. Originally, a trip was planned for December 2014, but it had to be postponed and was rescheduled for the summer of 2015, right before school started.

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Seth wanted to hit every beach we passed on the way down, so we did. I love my boy, and my boy loves the beach! This was an important mission and I wanted Seth to share it with me. We had a great time taking lots of pictures and posting them on Facebook along the way, but did not disclose the real reason for the mission.

It was a quick trip down and back. We left at 4 a.m. on Sunday, August 16, with Seth driving my mom’s Yukon (I tend to fall asleep behind the wheel). We met Alan the next morning at the storage unit in Orlando, hugged and got right to work. We filled every crack to the ceiling in the vehicle, leaving just enough space for our two small suitcases among dozens of boxes. The Yukon was loaded down to the point that the suspension had to significantly adjust. You could definitely feel the weight of history while driving.

After two (plus) hours of packing, Seth and I had a nice lunch with Lynda Stein (former Exodus Conference Production Manager). We caught up on what we’ve been doing since Exodus closed in June 2013. From there, I spent three hours at urgent care (I was terribly sick and needed an antibiotic), while Seth drove around sightseeing. Afterwards, Seth picked me up, and we joined four friends who treated us as their guests to Disney. Although I needed to rest, I decided to press through and have fun with my boy and friends. And we did! We stayed out late and had a lot of fun riding Space Mountain and several other rides. My family had never been to Disney, and I hadn’t seen the Magic Kingdom since I was ten. This was a real treat!

On Tuesday morning, we headed home with our precious cargo—Seth driving and me resting. The next day, Nylene, Jacob, and I unloaded the Archives to our second floor office. Did I mention it was summer and HOT? Later that day, Seth and I went to Costco and bought shelving for the Archives now entrusted to us.

Some may not understand this venture. It was, and will be, a costly project in time, energy, and resources. Those who were involved with Exodus will understand its value. Those who participated in Exodus will understand the treasure we shared in fellowship, and now have received its recorded inheritance. The Archives demonstrate God’s Divine Hand in thousands of people’s lives, including mine, and so many across the world.

The next step in this journey is to create a special membership website for accessing recordings. Hope for Wholeness already has a large inventory of resources, and in the future, we will gladly offer all of Exodus’ audio and video conference teachings, as well. ALL THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS.

There are tons of resources to be inventoried, catalogued, scanned, converted, and uploaded so others can benefit from the 38-years of transformational history. It’s going to cost a whole lot more than the gas to go down and get it—a whole lot more in time, energy, and finances.

Though a dauntingly large task, it’s an even larger honor to glorify God as we continue this adventure.

Will you join us?

Click here to see images of the journey to and from Orlando

If you’re ready and willing to help others benefit from the history and heritage of Exodus, please PRAY for all involved. We definitely need the Lord’s Guidance on a daily basis, and especially as we embark on this new adventure! To donate financially, designate your contribution under our new option titled Preserving Exodus History.

  • Gay Marriage and Lawsuit Against JONAH How Shall We Respond? By McKrae Game

Gay Marriage and Lawsuit Against JONAH How Shall We Respond? By McKrae Game

Same-Sex-Marriage-Supreme-CourtSince the printing of our mailed newsletter, two important decisions have occurred that have altered our culture and may affect our ministry: Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage in all 50 states and the success of a lawsuit against JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing) for unethical practices and charges of consumer fraud. (Link to CNN special) The jury found JONAH guilty of several of the 20 counts of consumer fraud. Jeremy Schwab, a ministry leader present at the trial and who testified for the defense said, “The judge practically ordered the jury to side with the plaintiffs. They also excused anyone from jury duty who attends weekly religious services because they are ‘extreme.’ (Link to trial transcripts)

Even before these cultural shifts, I have been leading toward a Christ centered and transparent look at ongoing struggles, urging ministries to take the focus off of attraction change and to stand firm on a Biblical approach that focuses on walking daily with the Body of Christ. To prevent the alteration of attractions from becoming an idol in our thinking, we should put Jesus above ALL things, regardless of our struggles.

Even with this as our focus, after these two rulings we will very likely see more lawsuits directed at groups that focus on changing attractions. I believe it will not be long before pastors & churches will be sued to force gay marriages, and pastors, churches, and organizations like ours will be challenged for simply calling homosexuality sin.

Regardless, I challenge us all to keep our focus on Jesus. God is not surprised by this. We are just experiencing another step in the deconstruction of the family overall. It’s been seen over the last fifty years through rampant adultery and divorce, pornography addiction, abortion, drug addiction, and on and on. But worst of all, that which grieves God’s heart for certain, is those who have not accepted His free gift of salvation and grace through His sacrifice on the Cross, that we might have life to the full through Him. John 10:10 And, I believe right there with these is those who lead others into sin, where Scripture is very clear in Matthew 18:6. We’ve certainly had leaders who have changed their tune and have become proponents of homosexuality, confusing and discouraging those who struggle with this issue. Lastly are those who remind me of the only ones that Christ ever lost his temper over. Matthew 23:27, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.”

I recently saw a young man on America’s Got Talent who was the victim of a sports accident where a ball damaged the nerves in his throat. Now he has an extreme stutter. He confessed, “The guy I used to be wouldn’t have hung out with me. That guy was a real jerk.” Many of us today in Christianity are frankly jerks, believing we are spreading righteousness, not realizing our own stench in the way we misrepresent the gospel. (Link to AGT video)

supreme-court-gay-marriage2As Christ’s followers and ambassadors, the question we are faced with is: Is our message going to reflect and draw people to Christ? I’ve seen some disgusting responses to the Supreme Court’s decision by Christians that do not draw anyone to Christ. Hate and condemning words do not serve to reflect Jesus! These occurances should cause us to look at what it is we believe and how we behave. Sharing condemnation becomes a distraction and a tool of the enemy against those whom Christ suffered for on the Cross. Let’s remember that Christ’s crucifixion changed EVERYTHING! The curtain in the temple was torn, from top to bottom, ending the separation between God and mankind. His desire is NOT judgement, but in compassion and forgiveness He invites us to accept His Son. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

If I’m going to be martyred, then may it be for the cause of Christ alone. Yes, I will tell my story, but my story should draw people to Christ and not to whatever level of change I’ve experienced but how Jesus changes lives, period. Gay marriage should not cause me to loose hope or become distracted from sharing Christ’s love, and from sharing my story.

Our conference report will show you that there is hope! We had some 150 people attend, mostly men and women who have walked away from homosexuality. They are not so focused on changing their attractions (they may or may not have had a shift in attraction), but on honoring and serving God. He is their focus! Pray for them, and please, reach out with Christ’s love and compassion to a lost world including those who are struggling and even those who are defiant.

Here is a link to a thorough Christian based review of the Supreme Courts decision by Dr. Albert Molher.

Gay Marriage: Three things your church must do immediately to protect itself

Masterpiece in Process – A HUGE Success!

Jacob, South Carolina—Before the conference, my heart was becoming like stone. I can only explain what happened for me at the conference like this: it’s like a hundred-piece puzzle that I can put together with my hands, but I can’t connect in my mind. It was all the Holy Spirit. Praise be TO God.

Jeanie, Virginia—My first HFW conference and what a joy! Seeing the openness to the Lord from both leaders and participants, the amazing worship, and, most of all, God’s presence with us in each session makes me want to return every year. There was a vulnerability and openness that I have seldom seen a conference sized group. God ministered to me especially in the area of forgiveness and releasing some wounds from my past. Amazingly, upon arriving home I already see results that can’t be explained by anything natural! All I can say is praise to the Lord and many thanks to all who contributed!

Cordy, Florida—It was wonderful to see old friends again and meet new ones. The workshops and testimonies were outstanding. The Holy Spirit moved in amazing ways. I was so blessed to be part of it.

Miranda worship

Paul, Indiana—I came to HFW this year worn out and feeling crushed. While there, I formed many wonderful relationships that I want to guard and hold close. I was so humbled by the many that expressed encouragement to me, of my transparency and my story of leaving my life as a transgendered female of 14 years. They affirmed me as “a courageous man,” as I continue to rely on God to transform and show me the way of the cross, to know I am a man of God! I am so thankful for Jesus, Carla Harshman and Hope for Wholeness! Plus All my new brothers and sisters in Christ! Plus I have been told the last 4 years after surrendering and coming to Jesus, that I have a calling on my life and God’s going to use me in a mighty way! I finally except and hunger for that and hope to start a support group in my church that will the beginning! Pray for me that I listen to Holy Spirit and I keep on the road of Jesus and relationship of Love for all! That’s how you lead others to Jesus!!! I give all Glory to my Heavenly Father, King and Master.

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Mark, Ohio—I have really enjoyed this conference and feel so much closer to God than when it started. I wasn’t going to come. I was doing terribly spiritually and with my SSA struggles, I wondered if it made sense to come when I had given up on God and was doing my own thing, letting discouragement and depression cause me to live in defeat. But I came, thanks to my best friend, and actually got the resolve to toss some things I needed to get rid of. God started speaking to me and drawing me to Him from the first session. At my church, we sing hymns and the music is a lot quieter, so I don’t get into the worship music much. I may not have looked like I was into the service, but God was dealing with me, speaking to me all the time. I have been encouraged a lot by the sessions and everyone else who has worked so hard to put this conference on. It made a difference in my life, and I am sure many others.

Bryan, Indiana—My wife and I attended our first HFW Conference and we don’t intend for it to be our last. My wife did not want to go but she was amazed by the acceptance and love that she felt from everyone at the conference. Last year, a couple of guys in our local HFW support group, Abba’s Delight, that I am a part of, shared that one of the things they liked the most about the conference was being able to take off the mask. I realized what they were talking about when I was at the conference.

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Steven, North Carolina—I always enjoy the HFW conference, this time more than ever before God ministered directly to my heart.

Caleb, North Carolina—The conference was a BLAST! It was like a wonderful family reunion, a weekend hanging out with the guys, and a time of sweet encouragement, transparency, and fellowship. There’s a reason I go back every year! God reminded me that, even in the midst of great struggle, He has been good to me. His faithfulness resounded through every fabric of the conference.

Sonia, California—This is a truly unique and memorable conference. First, the physical setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains is so breathtaking that I enjoyed every minute of the drive from the airport. An ideal setting for connecting with new acquaintances and long-term friends, Ridgecrest offers innovative architecture and modern amenities, and feels more like a resort than a conference center. I enjoyed every interaction with the loving and responsive staff, and relaxing fellowship in multiple settings ranging from the balcony overlooking an expanse of beautiful scenery, patios with chairs near quiet streams of water, walkways bordered by trees lovely this time of year, and meeting rooms with pianos welcoming impromptu worship sessions. In addition to inspiring session speakers and testimonies mingled with splendid times of worship, events included informative workshops and informal breakout sessions to bring people together. After several wonderful days of connection and inspiration, I went home thoroughly refreshed with joy filling my heart.

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Larry, South Carolina—No detail was left unattended when it came to this year’s conference. Every moment was filled with an opportunity to grow spiritually, meet someone socially, or just enjoy the company of overcomers. Matthew Aaron did a splendid job with Men’s Breakout sessions…so supportive. The Friday social allowed us to be human with one another. Miranda and the musicians were superb…with the finale of the Christopherson’s. Last but not least, McKrae was as real and genuine as possible. He has an eye for excellence and detail. We came as individual’s but left as a community. We had church!

Duncan, Florida—I was encouraged to step out and do a workshop at this year’s conference, and I’m so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone and did it. I was also nervous about being on the prayer team. I just trusted God would direct my words and allowed Him to use me. I am still amazed at His marvelous works displayed in the lives of those who attended this year’s conference. I’m also blessed at the ministry opportunities that have followed and am excited to see what God will do at next year’s conference. Believe me, God will make a way for you to get there if you don’t think you can afford it. You don’t want to miss it!

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Anthony, Pennsylvania—The Hope for Wholeness Conference was a gift from God and I’m really thankful God provided financially for this event. It was an amazing time of connecting with other believers who are on the same journey of coming out of homosexuality. Christ’s love was all over this conference, and we saw His love speak into every person at the conference! I have made many friends here! Also, I was thankful for the insightful workshops led by such compassionate leaders, many of whom came out of homosexuality themselves! It was a blessing to go and I will go again!

Tracy Palmer, South Carolina—This was mine and my husband, Stuart’s, first experience with Hope for Wholeness. It was eye opening to say the least! The people attending came from every walk of life with diverse stories, at various places in their healing process; both speakers and seekers. But ALL were at the same ‘level’ at the foot of the cross! The humility, transparency, and hunger for God were tangible and heart-melting. Although we wondered if we would been seen as outsiders, we were lovingly embraced as fellow siblings in Christ from the moment we stepped into the room.

God answered all His promises regarding attending this conference in a mind-altering way! We were keenly aware of God’s personal revelation for us from the very first testimony. The core of it is this; although our ministry is to marriages, we saw and heard firsthand that there is no root difference between the broken places in heterosexual marriages we encounter in our ministry and the issues that were being addressed at the conference. We agreed fully with the many anointed speakers, who laid out the bottom line very clearly from the Word. Our common human dilemma is that we were ALL created starving for DEEP intimacy, to know and be known. I also saw that in spite of our common humanity, each of our journeys are as unique as we are.

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To the Body of Christ: One of my big takeaways from the conference was a call to be used as a mouthpiece to open the eyes of the Church to this reality: No sin, wound, or area of broken thinking is worse than any other. Pornography, gluttony, addictions, infidelity, and pride are rampant in the Church at large. However, because these are easier to hide and keep in the dark away from public eyes, they are left in the proverbial closet. When I was a very lost and broken young woman, I was living with a man, not my husband, lost in heterosexual promiscuity, eating disorders, and all sorts of perverse sin. Yet a small church welcomed me, and let me sit in the front row for 18 months while I searched for and was found by Jesus. In my healing years, I was ‘messy.’ But they loved me with healthy affection, nurturing me during my stages of growth and finding more and more freedom. This kind of discipleship was not found by most of my new HFW friends. They were labeled by the Church and not welcome to come into the fold and search for help. I ask you, what other sin is kept outside the doors of church in such a way?!  You’ll find ministries for substance abuse, divorce, the sexually abused, abortion wounds, eating disorders, and every other scheme of the enemy. Where is the vehicle for transformation for those whose wounds are gender related?

Thank God that men and women are answering the call to provide resources to those who minister to these wounded souls. I believe God is using Hope for Wholeness greatly in the season that is upon us. I urge you to link arms and give, pray, and labor alongside them.

JesusAboveAll2016

Review Conference Recordings

  • You ARE a Masterpiece in Process!

You ARE a Masterpiece in Process!

You ARE a Masterpiece in Process! By McKrae Game

The issue of homosexuality and same-sex attraction is complicated, frustrating, exhausting, confusing, and more. Parents hear that their son or daughter is gay and their mind is blown. Their worst fears and often their suspicions have been realized. They’ve hoped it isn’t true, but now they don’t know what to do, think, feel or say. The person struggling with homosexuality often lives in fear of someone finding out.

I’ve met with so many sheepish men, young and old, and I’m sure Miranda, our Women’s Leader, has this same experience with the women. They don’t know what they’re getting into. Many times they hope we can “fix” them so they can just act like nothing happened. Then, they could act like it was all a bad dream and don’t have to admit this struggle, this part of their life to anyone. They just want it to go away. When I tell them that it’s not that easy, that our problems don’t just go away, they often get frustrated with me. My daughter has a plastic wand with a rhinestone star on top. A “magic wand.” I’ve thought about keeping it in my desk for such times as I encounter someone with the unrealistic expectations that we can work some magic to make it all go away. The truth is I can’t do that. I never want to imply that we can wave a magic wand through counseling, prayer, or whatever and their problems, particularly their same-sex attraction, will magically go away.

Very sadly, many have turned over to the world and their flesh. They’re jaded now, wanting only what their flesh wants. Their spirit in Christ has either never been awoken and they are lost or they have become so deceived that they’re blind to the work of the enemy in their lives. If it’s a young person, I can understand. Their body is raging and the world is drawing them in with promises of good times that will never end. I hope at some point that I’ll see them again, when they’ve experienced enough pain to snap them out of their euphoria, but I also know that too often there is a point of no return that many do not come back from. Then there are those that are married, with kids. These for me are the most difficult and frustrating stories. They are tragedies, really.

I am incredibly thankful that my time in homosexuality was short, ending in a salvation experience. Of course, if you know my story, it didn’t end there. When I got married, and even before marriage, I wanted to live a life of honor. When I accepted Christ in my heart, He changed EVERYTHING. Were my same-sex attractions gone? No. Was my sexual addiction gone? No. But I was able to bring the latter under control, praise God. I wanted a family. A wife and children, for me, represented what was good and desirable and were used by the Lord to draw me away from that way of life. I had a dream, and family was a big part of it.

For many, joy and contentment in singleness has been their pursuit. Paul says that he wishes everyone could be like him (single, I assume), but he also knew that for most that wouldn’t be the case.

Christine Sneeringer, in our Hope for Wholeness video curriculum said, “For me, it was Jesus or BUST!” That is my desire for not just my life, but for the ministry and message of Hope for Wholeness. I want people to see their value in what God sees in them, and see their unique plan that He has for them. You don’t have to struggle alone any longer! There IS a community of caring people that you can meet in person in just three weeks.

Whether you are that hurting parent or frustrated person dealing with this issue, we are here to serve you. This is your opportunity to come out from the fog, the haze, the muck and the mire, and be able to breathe. This is your chance to come out from any excuse that you may have made to yourself, give us a call, and get to Ridgecrest. I’m sure that afterwards you will say, “Thank you. I’m SO GLAD I listened and came. This really helped.” Do what is necessary, and make it happen, and we’ll take care of the rest.

If you’re afraid of what you’ll encounter, you’re not alone. I remember my wife and I going to our first conference in Virginia. It was an eight hour drive. We didn’t know what we were getting into. We were scared to death, about to throw up from the anxiety. It turned out to be amazing! Then our first national conference was in Seattle, Washington, clear across the country. We’d never been so far away from home. We didn’t have the money, but I went to my mom and asked if she’d help and she came through for us. After these events, I said I’d never miss another one, and I didn’t. They were life-changing. The Spirit of God was so thick it was transforming. The conversations and relationships were so sweet. We had camaraderie that I’d never experienced. What was odd and fearful, was now a bond of commonality that we shared.

At the Masterpiece in Process conference, you’ll establish relationships that will give you hope. You’ll experience teaching that will give you room to breathe and give you insight which will be priceless. Don’t miss out! Do what it takes to be in your place!

Regardless of your situation, if you’re reading this newsletter, then you need to be at our HFW Conference—Masterpiece in Process. No excuses! If money is an issue, I assure you that we can help you work it out so that you can be there. We can’t get you to the event, but if you can get there, we can help you be there with us.

If you’re interested at all in leadership, you are welcome to the Leader’s day, Wednesday, June 3 at 10am. Otherwise, the full conference starts Thursday morning at 9am and goes until Sunday with lunch. If you’ve never heard of or experienced Ridgecrest, it’s an amazing Christian conference center, owned by Lifeway, an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. It’s a safe, secure, and very modern retreat center. It’s a retreat, an experience that you’ll be very thankful you made the investment in.

I hope to see you there. If you have not been to the conference page on our website and watched the videos, I’d strongly encourage you to do so. I believe the pictures from last year’s conference will help ease your nerves and help you say, “I need to be there.”

Hope to see you soon! 

Give us a call today if we can help. Walk ups are welcome. 

This is your chance! Don’t miss it. 

  • An Intervention

An Intervention

An Intervention

As our conference draws closer, I wanted to show these two images that are real life examples of the fight that we individually face every day leading to the event, Masterpiece in Process.

Last month, instead of a newsletter, we told you that we needed your help. Instead of an inspiring article or conference promotion, we told you about our need. While still needing your help, the reality is that you and others face a much bigger need. Some are in the fight for their life.

The place where our conference will be held, Ridgecrest Conference Center, was recently surrounded by a forest fire that engulfed 750 acres of the adjacent mountainside. Over 300 forest fighters intervened on behalf of Ridgecrest and other homes and land that were defenseless against the ravaging blaze. The Ridgecrest property and buildings were spared, and evidence of the fire is not easy to find on the property, however there was a time when I’m sure many were fearful of the outcome.

I traveled to Ridgecrest to do a series of videos, and filmed one in the charred remains of the fire. It was a compelling image portraying how I have always said I don’t want to live a “scorched earth” life leaving hurt and pain upon others and potentially devastating my own life. We know how the fire rages in us in our daily battle of the flesh versus the Spirit. We must fight, or we will fall prey to the wildfire of our passions much like the acreage lost to the forest fire around Ridgecrest.

As leaders, we are coming in and hoping to intervene for you and your family and friends, helping you fight the fire. Our desire is to put out the fire, or, even better, to redirect the fire to a new passion founded in a love for God rather than the flesh, helping you avoid the push of the world towards homosexuality.

Man saves man from carRecently a man was driving down a road in Idaho, when he saw a truck that had gone down an embankment and was in peril of falling over a cliff.Seen in this photo, he intervenes to save this man’s life. Once the emergency responders arrived, he left and took no credit as a hero. This is just like the men and women that work with Hope for Wholeness and those who bravely share their story of walking away from homosexuality. They feel an urgency to intervene for those in peril. Most work full-time jobs away from ministry and do not see what they do as heroic. Rather, they strongly feel the battle they are in.

Recently, I was pleading with a young man who said he just wanted to experience all that homosexuality had to offer.

I said to him, “If you were driving down the road, heading toward a bridge that was out, but you’tthat it was out,’thope that someone from the DMV would flagand tell you that it was out?” “Of course,” he responded. I then said, “I’m with the DMV. The bridge is out.”

While I think he got it, I’m afraid my plea fell on deaf ears. We can’t save everyone. Still, we try, try, and try again. Those we work with are not like the man pulled unconscious from the car. They’re fully awake and in control of their lives. They make the decision of how to respond to our pleas, and more importantly, to the drawing and calling of the Holy Spirit.

As leaders, family, and friends, and those that are simply called to share our story, we feel that we are like these forest fighters or this man that’s pulling a man from a crashed car. We often feel a sense of urgency to plead with these wounded friends to listen to the voice of the Lord calling.

The draw of the world is so incredibly strong. I cannot imagine being a young person today. It is hard enough for me at 46, married with kids, and leading a ministry. I’ve never hidden my ongoing struggles and attractions. I daily submit those to the Lord, to my wife, and to others in accountability. But that’s no different from any other person struggling with the flesh.

This issue is vastly different today than in past years. Today, the world, and recently even the White House, is fighting against any work of a ministry like ours, against any attempt to help someone who’s seeking an alternative other than complete inclusion into gay life. Hope for Wholeness is daily ready to do an intervention on behalf of you, your family member, or your friend.upcoming conference, Masterpiece in Process, is also designed specifically to allow us to create a firebreak to stop any devastation.

For those who are in leadership, it will be a time to give back, to pour into others, to teach, to testify, and to share. For those who are struggling, it’s a time to realize you’re not alone, you’re not fighting a losing battle, and you’re not defenseless. We are here for you, but more importantly, the Lord is with you and will be with us collectively at Ridgecrest.

I urge you to clear your calendar, to do whatever it takes to be there. Come and be a part of the conference, and allow us to help you. If this isn’t your issue, maybe you’re reading this because God wants you to get involved in this ministry. Either way, learn more, and get prepared to save a life.

Why I Fight The Fight By Ethan Martin Director Revelation Ministry 1211 Fort Meyers, FL

Why I Fight The Fight

By Ethan Martin, Director, Revelation Ministry 1211, Fort Meyers, FL

Ethan MartinI sat there sitting on a rock staring out across a small valley to the Old City in Jerusalem, silently weeping. My Pastor came up to me, put his hand on my shoulder, and said “I would love to know the thoughts going through your head.” I couldn’t speak. My emotions rolled over me like a tidal wave enveloping the beach. How could he possibly know what I have gone through? How could he even remotely understand what I have given up to follow Christ? How could he know the sudden despairing sadness I felt at the loss of everything I had dreamed of? How could he grasp the magnitude of the sacrifice I was making on behalf of my beliefs? My Pastor couldn’t. But He could. And He does. I was sitting in the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Christ questioned God’s plan for His life, wrestled, was tormented, and found acceptance. I connected with Christ on such a deep level there. I suddenly felt like my burden was nothing compared to what He went through. He sacrificed His life because of His love for me. I found myself uttering the words Christ said 2,000 years past, “Father, take this cup from me. Not my will, but yours be done.” The cup wasn’t taken away from Him because that was not the Father’s will. And the cup wasn’t taken from me because that is not the Father’s will.

For me, I continue to fight the fight because it is God’s will for me life; it is my cup. And I do so because of my understanding of His love and His grace. The definition of true love is mentioned in the Bible: “Greater love has no man than this, that he would lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”- John 15:13. This was proven to us by Jesus who laid His life down for us. If I say that I love Jesus, then what am I willing to sacrifice? What cup will He ask me to drink from? If I am not willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING (which just so happens to include my sexuality), then I don’t really love Him. But I do love Him. And so I choose to sacrifice my all, including my sexuality, to follow Christ. I love Him because He first loved me. And His grace says that all my sins are forgiven. Past, present and future. I can rest in knowing that nothing could ever separate me from the love of Jesus. But I also don’t want to sin, because I love Him. Could I continue to live in sin. Absolutely! Do I want to? No! Why? Because if I accepted my same-sex attraction as my identity, and lived it out, I would be living contrary to God, and it frightens and saddens me to even think of that. To accept my flesh and deny my spirit would mean that I would have to forget all the great memories of healing, all of my great experiences with God, and most importantly of His love which I fell in love with. Grace and love do not exist to merely accept who we are and stay there. Grace and love allow us the space to know and feel we are loved and gently move us ever toward holiness.

 

The REAL Never Ending Story—Our Redemption

The REAL Never Ending Story—Our Redemption

By Jeanie Smith Director Emeritus, Set Free Ministries, Richmond VA

Jeanie SmithI wish you could have experienced a workshop called “Core Values” that I heard Russell Willingham teach some years ago. In a nutshell, he said that we have “ideal values” – what we truly believe and have been taught. Then we have “core values” – those which our life experience has shaped and formed. While we often think ideal values guide our behavior, we actually behave in accordance with these core values. At a subconscious level, our behavior is informed by our life experience. And if, as believers in Jesus, we hold to the conviction that scripture is God’s inspired revelation to guide us in faith and practice, we are in the constant state of becoming self-aware. We allow His presence in our lives and the written word of God to close the gap between our ideal values and our core values. He re-forms our life experience daily as we practice His presence. His word gives us safe boundaries in our areas of vulnerability. It is a “glory to glory” road we travel. We are actually daily getting a “spiritual makeover” from the One who knows exactly who He created us to be and how to unveil the beauty of His creation.

If this is true (and it is), then why is there such a constant focus, particularly in the area of same-sex attraction on whether or not we have reached a particular “place” in the journey which some would call success? What if “success” is simple and joyful faithfulness today? What if it’s an open invitation to our Lord to re-form our broken pasts (even using those points of brokenness for His glory) and hope that our transformation will continue tomorrow? I ask these questions in light of those who now say that because they are still primarily same-sex attracted after spending years in ministry, they are comfortable “accepting” themselves, embracing a gay identity, and believing that it in no way conflicts with their faith. I do not ask these questions for the purpose of judging anyone; I do not ask these questions for the purpose of arguing a point. I ask because I believe the answer informs our theology in a way that will ultimately and powerfully influence our choices and expose inconsistencies.

Transparency, which is highly valued in all that Hope for Wholeness stands for and practices, is based on truly loving oneself and accepting where we are today. Yet, today is not the end of our stories. Being fully honest about where we struggle is actually a step toward submitting every desire, every need, every part of ourselves to our Creator and Redeemer. Honesty is a doorway to hope. And, hope is not about an absence of temptation, struggle, and it is not about meeting the expectations of those who surround us. Biblical hope is all about the transformative redemption of every single part of our humanity—not one area is exempt. If the Incarnation teaches us anything, it teaches us this great truth.

I can’t imagine someone who is addicted to pornography saying that because he felt an urge to go online today, all healing that had gone on in his life was devoid of meaning and he was now comfortable as a Christian looking at pornography regularly. Would we accept the reasoning that he needed to be “real” and accept that God gave him these desires? Yet, that is what we are hearing daily in the area of human sexuality—and very pointedly in the areas of same-sex attraction and gender identity. Has the Church been guilty in the past of failing to communicate the powerful message of redemption in these areas? I think so. That means that those who are living out their healing have the unique opportunity to speak with clarity, humility, transparency, and hope. Our testimonies are not some desperate attempt to “white knuckle” our way through life. They are our joy in His presence, our growth through our struggles, His glory through our thorns.

Being “real”—genuine, transparent, vulnerable—in no way indicates that we become complicit with the world around us, that we dishonor our commitment to God and others, or that we abandon our passion to live an integral and Bible-based life which is “lit from within” by His Spirit. Being vulnerable and honest actually leads us to humble confession as we allow our passions to be molded daily by the One who walks with us through the process of repentance. As the wife of someone who comes out of same-sex struggle, I am actually not overly concerned about my husband reaching a point where the Christian world sees him as a “success story”—someone who no longer experiences significant same-sex attraction. Don’t, get me wrong here—I am happy for him if particularly troubling temptations no longer plague him daily. However, as his wife, I am far more honored when he chooses God first, when he faithfully practices confession and humility, and when he chooses to focus his erotic passion on me! I value his faithfulness far above any (what I consider to actually be worldly) Christianized ideas about success.

I love McKrae and Hope for Wholeness because I know we will be encouraged to focus on our own process of “being changed into His image from one degree of glory to the next,” not on judging another person’s process. We will be challenged to share our testimonies in vulnerability, allowing His glory to be the focus. And we will live in His presence, knowing that tomorrow is yet to come and He promises to take us to places that are truly “beyond our imaginations.”

Years ago, in a particularly difficult place, I wrote a song. I want to share the first verse with you:

“I’ve got a thorn in my flesh, you might say it’s a pain in the rear!

And, I asked God to remove it—but I guess He didn’t hear.

Then, a voice deep inside me said, Oh yes, He heard you—He said NO. You see that thorn is the thing that you NEED NOW, to help you to grow.

Those words continue to resonate.

In His love, Jeanie

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